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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • A bunch of years ago, I was a co-op at a glazing contractor. The company was in the middle of an expansion phase and had recently landed a bunch of really big contracts (the mall at Liberty Place in Philadelphia, and a piece of each of the new office buildings being built on Market St. as well).

    Among their new hires was someone to serve as their cheif engineer. Apparently, this is a requirement when building large edifices...

    Anyway, Lou started in the end of October or November, and was really gung ho on this job, this company and these projects (mostly checking the numbers to make sure that the glass and mouldings being installed could withstand normal stress and maximum load). Lou was a great guy and a pleasure to work with. Come Christmas, Lou said "Merry Christmas" in his own special way by buying a couple of cases of Glen Ellen, and a few special bottles of wine for the boss and management team (the same management team that "regretfully" announced no christmas bonuses, and promised periodic "performance bonuses that presumably never showed up).

    Lou insisted I take one, even though I tried to graciously refuse on a couple of grounds -- I was a co-op, I was under age, etc. He insisted, and I took this bottle of wine home with me, saving it for a special occasion.

    One day between Christmas and New Year's, I came into work, and every one of the rank and file was in a very somber mood. It turns out that Lou had had a massive coronary the night before just after dinner while watching TV with his family. He had been on the job just about 2 months, and in that time his bosses had so overworked him that his wife said she could see that this job (or these bosses) were literally draining the life out of him. When he passed on, he was in a lot of pain.

    To this day, I can't see a bottle of Glen Ellen without thinking about Lou, and wondering what happened to the young family he loved so much.

    • That itchy posting finger strikes again...
      Lou insisted I take one [...]

      Lou bought a couple of cases of Glen Ellen, one bottle for everyone in the front office -- from the draftsmen to the accounting department to the receptionists to the foremen in the back.